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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Il Portiere di notte')

directed by Liliana Cavani

Italy 1974

"The Night Porter" is a dark, misunderstood film with a very adult, and often disturbing subject matter. It has an underlying focus of deviant sex, concentration camp atrocities and former Nazi's alluding prosecution. The plot evolves to us as follows: Vienna - WWII has been over for a dozen years and Lucia (Charlotte Rampling), a concentration camp survivor, discovers her ex-torturer, Maximillian (Dirk Borgarde), is employed as an evening porter in her hotel. It seems the psychological entrapments of their sadomasochistic history have irreparably embedded themselves into their carnal desires. In a realistic transgression - their old relationship is ignited and the veritable flame is indeed fed again. As this transpires Max and his old buddies are sought and in danger of being tried for war crimes. Slow paced for some it is keen and unpredictable with an unusual nobility. Rampling and Bogarde are excellent and lift the film to a more respectable critical level. Certainly not a film for everyone, but like its intent - good for those open enough to experiment with their own ideals of film as simply entertainment. We are dealing with powerful forces and emotions, that are better understood by very few individuals.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 1st, 1974 - USA

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Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

3) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

  

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 59 - Region 1- NTSC Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection Spine #59

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:57:16 1:58:06.621 1:58:20.593
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate :6.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,787,584,330 bytes

Feature: 30,649,977,024 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 29.19 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,720,601,281 bytes

Feature: 34,312,058,880 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 34.59 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Anchor Bay Blu-ray

Bitrate: Criterion Blu-ray

Audio English / Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 1397 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1397 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• 2 page liner notes essay by Annette Insdorf
 

DVD Release Date: February 1st, 2000
Keep Case
Chapters: 27

Release Information:
Studio:
Anchor Bay

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,787,584,330 bytes

Feature: 30,649,977,024 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 29.19 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
None

Blu-ray Release Date:  July 30th, 2012
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,720,601,281 bytes

Feature: 34,312,058,880 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 34.59 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• New interview with director Liliana Cavani (8:33)
• Women of the Resistance, a fifty-minute 1965 documentary by Cavani composed of interviews with female partisans who survived the German invasion of Italy, with an introduction by the filmmaker (4:55)
• PLUS: An essay by scholar Gaetana Marrone, author of The Gaze and the Labyrinth: The Cinema of Liliana Cavani, and an excerpt from a 1975 interview with Cavani

Blu-ray Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 19

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (November 2014) Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray: Well, I guess this does signify the Anchor Bay as being far too green.  The Criterion can also look green (with some blue) but no where near the cast of the UK transfer. The Criterion is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and significantly advances on the previous HD from 2012 and one of their own early, and weakest, DVDs from 2000. The 1080P shows greater detail, truer colors, superior contrast and some pleasing depth. Grain texture is consistent and very evident. I expect this is the best the film will ever look on digital - cited as a new 2K digital restoration.

The audio is an uncompressed monaural soundtrack via linear PCM. The music is by Daniele Paris and benefits from the transfer. I didn't notice differences with the Anchor Bay LPCM, but unlike the UK Blu-ray - they don't offer a surround track. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked BD.

Criterion add some solid supplements. We get the 50-minute documentary Women of the Resistance, from 1965 by Cavani composed of interviews with female partisans who survived the German invasion of Italy. It includes a 5-minute long introduction by the filmmaker. There is also a new, 8.5 minute, interview with director Liliana Cavani conducted by Criterion in Rome in 2014. Cavani muses on various aspects of making The Night Porter. The package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by scholar Gaetana Marrone, author of The Gaze and the Labyrinth: The Cinema of Liliana Cavani, and an excerpt from a 1975 interview with Cavani.

I have never embraced the film as much as I did in this viewing. It is the best I have ever seen it look. Brilliant and 'uncomfortably voyeuristic' film experience. The Criterion Blu-ray is strongly recommended!

***

ADDITION: Anchor Bay- Region 'B' Blu-ray - December 2012': The new Anchor Bay is 1080P but has a decidedly green tinge to it. I'll admit that I have no idea whether this was similar to how it looked theatrically, but it does improve over the letterboxed Criterion DVD in plenty of areas regardless. The Blu-ray has quite a bit more information in the frame - notably the top and left edge. Also the SD is rife with artifacts which are significantly reduced via the Anchor Bay HD transfer. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate. The Blu-ray audio is lossless - options for DTS-HD surround or linear PCM stereo. The didn't note an abundance of separation in the 5.1 but both did sound clear and consistent. The Anchor Bay has no subtitles and is region 'B'-locked. There are no supplements. Let's hope for another 1080P release to compare this to.

***

ON THE DVD: Perhaps one of Criterions weakest efforts. Non-anamorphic image appears to have artifacts. There are no extra features, original mono sound and removable English subtitles. I keep thinking I see some edge enhancements but if I do, it is minimal. The image is not exceptionally sharp, but suitable for normal viewing. Criterion have produced over 200 DVD since this one and the quality has risen extensively.

Gary W. Tooze

 


Menus

 

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE BELOW TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

1) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

Box Covers

 

  

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 59 - Region 1- NTSC Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection Spine #59

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray




 

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